Health Canada Cautions Campers About Portable Butane Stoves

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Example of a portable butane stove (CNW Group/Health Canada)

There is an increased risk of explosions or flash fires, which could result in burn injuries, if directions for use are not properly followed.

With camping season underway and the increased popularity of camping over the course of the pandemic, portable butane stoves are likely being heavily used across Canada.

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to follow the instructions closely when using portable butane stoves. If the directions for assembly and use are not properly followed, there is an increased risk of explosions or flash fires, which could result in burn injuries. This can happen if the disposable butane gas canister overheats and explodes, or vents extra gas which then ignites.

The Department has received reports of incidents related to certain portable butane stoves that use a disposable butane gas canister that lies horizontally and is enclosed in the body of the stove during use.

There is some variation of features for different models and brands, but the appearance is very similar with the gas canister being enclosed in the body of the stove.

The Department has received 13 reported incidents related to explosions, uncontrolled flames or flash fires caused by this type of portable butane stove since 2013.

These incidents were generally related to issues such as consumers installing the cooking grate or butane canister incorrectly or to a voluntary product recall in 2017, and some reported serious burn injuries.

Health Canada is informing Canadians of the potential risks associated with these products and providing tips on how to use the products safely.

The Department is currently communicating with certain importers of the related products to determine if compliance actions are required, and will continue to inform Canadians if new safety information is available. Under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA), the Department will take compliance and enforcement action when there is reason to believe that a product poses a danger to human health or safety.

The Department is also reviewing the latest version of the Canadian Standard Association standard for portable butane stoves, CSA/ANSI Z21.72:19/CSA 11.2:19, which was published in 2019. This standard has a new test to address the issue of the gas canister overheating when used or installed incorrectly.

What you should do

To avoid flash fires or explosions from the disposable butane gas canister overheating:

  • Always read and follow the warnings and directions for use before using any portable butane stove.
  • Always use the stove with the cooking grate the right-way up; with pot supports facing upwards.
  • Never place a stove near other sources of heat or place additional stoves side-by-side.
  • Only use pots and pans that fit the size of the cooking grate on the stove, so they do not cover the gas canister.
  • If you or someone else has an incident involving a portable butane stove:

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